One moment, I felt ten feet tall, full of faith, defying the judge, announcing my fast, and the next moment, which happened as soon as I stepped out of the courtroom, I was weak old Dylan again. A seventy-three year old, bald, fifteen pounds over weight geezer who needed afternoon naps to stay awake until 9:30 at night. Not only that, I craved blueberry pie, ice cream, chocolate covered peanuts, pizza, and would have robbed a bank to get them if I had a gun or a knife. What’s my problem, I thought.
The young guard marched me up to the seventh floor to County Jail #4, a maximum-security facility for murderers, rapists, drug dealers, gang leaders, and now, a geezer with a big mouth.
After signing in, I went to a room where a soft-spoken guard ordered me to strip off my clothing so he could thoroughly search me. He then handed me my orange county jail outfit, white t-shirt, white underwear, white socks, pair of black slide sandals, and a bag containing toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and a locker key.
I finally arrived at my cell just before lunchtime. My cellmate sat at the small built-in desk, reading a thick book and taking notes on a legal pad. He looked up and shook his head.
“I was hoping for a cute young guy, but instead, I get an old, worn-out coot like you. What are the odds?” he said with a smile. Then, he stood up and offered his hand. “My name is Kyle Bogart. I’m the gay terminator on this wing.”
Even though he wore an orange uniform like mine, Kyle looked like he had stepped out of GQ Magazine with his stylish cut blond hair, blue eyes, chiseled good looks, and muscular six-foot frame.
I shook his firm hand. “My name’s Dylan Matthews. I’m a retired cute guy.”
Kyle laughed. “Okay, that’s funny, but because seniority has its benefits in here, you get the top bunk, and the little locker on the right.”
“That works for me.”
I pointed at his thick book. “What are you studying?”
“That sounds boring to me.”
“Yeah, it is, but I’m accused of murder and thought it would be a good idea to understand what the lawyers are talking about.”
“Murder? You look like a successful businessman.”
“Good guess! I am a part owner of a successful restaurant, but my partner was recently bludgeoned to death.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“Well, things happen. Plus, he was my husband and cheated on me. By the way, what are you in here for? Robbing a bank or something exciting like that?”
It’s funny how at that moment I remembered his words “gay terminator” and how he didn’t elaborate on that title. My imagination kicked into gear with all kinds of hypothetical possibilities.
I blew out a deep breath and plunged into the deep end. “I spoke a short message to some men watching the parade down in the Castro District. All I said was, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.’ My words caused a small riot and ended up with me being arrested for a hate crime.”
His facial expression changed from normal to deranged in a San Francisco second. His blue eyes glazed over and the vein on the side his neck popped out, looking like it was ready to explode. He hurdled the distance between us and grabbed my neck with his huge hands and began choking me. I tried to protect myself, but he was too strong. His hate-filled eyes slashed my heart as I stared into them. I figured his face would be the last one I’d see before meeting Jesus in heaven.
The lunch chime sounded.
He released his chokehold on me, much like the dogs had responded to ringing bells in Pavlov’s experiments. He looked at me and then down at his hands, flexing both of them.
“My mom preached this crap to me until I finally left home. So, don’t ever mention Jesus or God to me again because I don’t know if I can contain myself from ripping you apart!” he proclaimed. Then, he lowered his voice. “Let’s go eat lunch now, okay?”
I struggled for breath and shook my head. “No! Go ahead without me. I’m going to rest a little bit.”
“Suit yourself, but today’s lunch is pastrami on rye with lentil soup. It’s really good.”
And just like that, the gay terminator left.
(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)
(Continued in Part 13…the full series to date can be read here.)